Tuesday, January 22, 2008

larkin in wonderland

Today brings us our 2nd in a series of 2007 highlights. We have a Very Special Installment for you!

After giving up a weekend a month all year to do restoration work for the Student Conservation Assn, Larkin then spent 15 days on Mt. Rainier last August. Her group worked on closed portions of the Wonderland Trail that were ravaged in last winter's storms. They tented in a rustic Forest Service camp with pit toilets and no showers.

Upon her return, I asked Larkin to be a guest writer on LaughBlog to tell us all about her experience. Unfortunately, school started soon thereafter and the idea was pushed to the bottom of her to-do list. But I have the next best thing: Larkin agreed to let me transcribe this letter she sent from camp.

Sunday, August 19th, 2007

Dear Mom, De, Robo, Rita, Eartha, and Fish,

I miss you guys a lot. But mostly I miss home. I'm ready to come home now but I won't. It was all fun at first. Now it's just getting up early, eating dehydrated food and sandwiches, working 8 hours a day, peeing in the woods, trying to hold poo until I can get to the camp bathrooms, eating cheese and rice with every dinner, and sleeping in a tent with 3 other girls. Not to mention that I smell terrible and may never be able to scrub away all the dirt on my skin. And the blackheads, so many new blackheads. And right now it's raining. It's our rest/rec day and R**, M**, and I are hiding in our tent until noon, when we all have to pack into the van and drive around Rainier looking at places we haven't seen yet. That is, places we don't live or work.

When I get home I am going to immediately abuse all the privileges I don't have here. I am going to take at least a 30 minute shower then spend the next hour in the bathroom with my mirror and beauty products. Then I am going to go on the computer and email or message everyone I have ever known. Then I am going to watch High School Musical 2 on demand, then I am going to do something else disgustingly self-serving that I haven't thought of yet. The whole time I am to listen and sing along with loud music. And at some point I am going to eat a large steak and/or a large amount of raw fish.

I'm really sorry if this sounds disappointing and you wish I would talk about more fun things, but I'm really tired and I don't want to do anything but sleep and write today. We have had 5 workdays and will have 6 more. The next rest/rec day is Thursday.... I have made some really good friends here at least. B** is uber awesome and W** is really cool (but totally geekin'). I wouldn't ever see M**, but I'll probably talk to him on MySpace. M**** and R** both go to Ballard, and B** is switching there this year from Summit.

I'm tired and I think we're going to be eating lunch then leaving soon, so I don't know how much longer I have to write. Again, I miss you guys and the real world so much. I can't wait to see you all in about a week. Mucho hugs and kisses.

Love you all, Larkin

P.S. I meant it about the steak and raw fish, I've been having cravings for 3 days now.

P.P.S. I figured out Fish's name, it's Murcucio, as in Romeo & Juliet (my spelling is wrong though).

By the time we picked her up 8 days later, she was glowing--triumphant, proud, and oh so smelly!

Disappointed, she asked? Tim and I were both in tears by the end of her letter, between all the laughing and the swelling pride. She's really quite a person, that Larkin. -k8-

Friday, January 11, 2008

lucky 07

Here's a smattering of random moments caught over the course of 2007:

With a trailhead only half a block from our house, we spend a lot of time walking, riding, or playing on the Interurban Trail. I love this picture of Rowan running to catch cousin Max's toss of a super bouncy ball.

Bonus: see if you can read what's written on the ball...you may have to click on the picture.

About 10 blocks north on the trail sits this freight container off in the brush. I regularly see damp blankets and discarded food containers underneath, betraying a private, semi-dry spot to avoid the Seattle rain. When this graffiti appeared one day, the irony did not escape me.

Keeping with the Interurban theme, here's Tim and me in early '07 sledding the modest hill that runs down to the trail. There's so little snow, you can see the grass poking through, but around here we'll take what we can get!

Louis and Mark's feet as they run through a little stream's waterfall in the Japanese garden.

Rod by sconce light.

I found this picture online when doing a search for "Allgeier," the adopted name I grew up with and is on my legal birth certificate. This is the grave of my dad's dad, killed in WWII. Albert would never get to meet his son, who was only 7 months old at the time. His young, beautiful widow would soon remarry and add 8 more children to their blue collar, Catholic family in Erie, PA. I find it amazing that though I never knew the man, and though I'm not likely to ever visit Margraten, I can nonetheless see my grandfather's gravestone in the Netherlands American Military Cemetery. I love the internet.

Since we met in the student union at college when we were 19, I've been telling Tim what great hair he has. Imagine my delight when I found these two pictures! The orange shirt one is from a July '06 camping trip, and the black shirt is almost exactly 1 year later. As you can see, Tim got a wild hair in 2007. You'll find that when I eventually post the July '08 Tim-by-Lantern-Light picture, his hair will be back to its more modest self.

I'm cheating here, since this picture is actually from '06. I like to call it "Kid Soup." Note the weaponry necessary to keep them in line. Needless to say, we drained and cleaned the hot tub the next day.

There are so many more good ones...this may have to be Part One in a series. -k8-

Thursday, January 10, 2008

make it suntory time

Highlights since Christmas:

Spending new year's eve in Portland with my baby bro, who faces the big three-OH! this year.

Hot chocolate dates with special friends, such as Owen the Fairy Princess.

All the quality time spent relaxing with the kids and critters. And check out those fabulous fingerless gloves Larkin knit for me.

Another successful contract training, first one in an academic setting. Yay! I got to bill someone for my services! Yay!

Getting to know little Adeline, the sweetest angel this side of Cloud 9.

Finding a home for the piano, thereby reclaiming the living room. How about that feng shui!

One night in the shadow of the Space Needle watching Rod and Tim work a bottle of Suntory, like outta Lost in Translation. -k8-